Horner, principal of Red Bull Racing, has assured that despite Ford’s backing of their new power unit, the automobile behemoth is not meddling in the business operations. Rather, the Milton Keynes engineering team is given free reign to develop the unit. This unit is being crafted for prospective regulations at Red Bull‘s revolutionary new Milton Keynes facility. Ford took this opportunity, which was previously offered to but declined by Porsche.
This partnership with Ford has granted Red Bull the luxury of not having to shoulder the full cost of the project. In addition to this, Horner feels confident that Ford’s expertise in electric vehicle technology will be a key asset to the Formula 1 project. “They bring a lot of interesting knowledge because of the investment they’re making in their electrification and cell technology,” Horner highlighted.
The focus on combustion is specific to F1. Yet Horner sees significant potential for electric components in future developments. Horner stated, “On the electrical side, we have weekly meetings with the Ford team, where we witness some really interesting developments.”
The Red Bull-Ford collaboration is growing from a technological standpoint, and Ford is contributing increasing value. Horner mentioned, “It’s been a really positive interaction. They do not tell us how to manage our business or have a shareholding perspective. The relationship has been very productive thus far.”
This advantageous collaboration between Red Bull and Ford was enabled due to Ford CEO Jim Farley’s passion for motorsport. Even though there may be future changes in management that could potentially impact the F1 project, Horner is not worried. He stated, “You can never predict that far ahead, but we have an agreement till 2030. One of the primary drivers behind this agreement happened to be Bill Ford. It’s authenticated by the Ford family and Jim Farley’s zeal for the project.”
The building to accommodate the manufacturing and electrical departments of the Red Bull site continues to expand. Horner remarked on it, saying, “It’s the biggest campus in F1. We’re now situated on a 50-acre site comprising 18 buildings. The team has expanded and advanced significantly. Although it isn’t a Norman Foster-designed building with glass and water features, it is highly pragmatic.”
Horner concluded by stating the value of a practical and interactive working environment developed for employees for both the chassis and engine side of the businesses, and hopes to replicate this on the advanced technology side.